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Arkansas Gun Laws: Quotes From Heated Debate

By    |   Friday, 19 December 2014 03:56 PM

Changes in Arkansas gun laws are leading to a debate about open carry in the state. A 2013 law, referred to as Act 746, changed the rules for the carrying of handguns, and while wording in the statute does not specifically allow open carry of a handgun, it does  create a burden of proof that the carrier had the intent to commit a crime.

Pro-gun-rights groups have celebrated the law as a win for Second Amendment rights. The group Open Carry is hosting "open carry walks" in the state to celebrate the new Arkansas gun laws at the same time lawmakers are still struggling to figure out how the law should be enforced.

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Here are some quotes from the heated debate over Arkansas gun laws:
  • "It was the intent of the sponsors of Act 746 to decriminalize the open carry of a firearm by persons not prohibited from legally possessing the firearm …there are people who believe that the new law also will allow concealed carry without a concealed carry license. I disagree with this viewpoint." – Nate Bell, member of the Arkansas House of Representatives in a July 16, 2014 Facebook post.
  • "The journey exception applies only to 'travel beyond the county in which a person lives,' a narrow range of activity inconsistent with the concept of 'open carry.'" – Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel commenting in a July 8 opinion of Act 746.
  • "We did not screw up. Open carry has always been the law in Arkansas since at least the 1800s. When most people walked out their front door, they assumed they were on a 'journey' or going hunting, and thousands open-carried for over a century. 'Journey' was not defined." Arkansas state Rep. Denny Altes in a Facebook response to criticism of the open carry bill.
  • "This was a consensus bill, which defined a journey. It was certainly not discussed as an open carry bill. Certainly, the legislative intent ought to be fairly clear, since the Legislature rejected open carry twice." – State Rep. Nate Steel to KARK-TV in July 2013.
  • "I, too, read Act 746 to state that you may carry a weapon so long as you do so without the intent to unlawfully employ it against someone. However, it's clear that this is ambiguous and there's confusion … I want to work with our Legislature to make sure the law is clear." – Leslie Rutledge in a debate of Republican candidates for state attorney general as reported by the Arkansas News Bureau.
This article does not constitute legal advice. Check the current gun laws before purchasing or traveling with a firearm.

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Changes in Arkansas gun laws are leading to a debate about open carry in the state. A 2013 law, referred to as Act 746, changed the rules for the carrying of handguns.
arkansas, gun, laws, debate, quotes
Friday, 19 December 2014 03:56 PM
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